Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann, and the Perversity of Brilliance

Nov. 27 2017

In Eichmann in Jerusalem, her 1963 report on the trial of the former SS director for Jewish affairs, the German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt portrayed her subject as an ordinary, mindless bureaucrat rather than a genocidal monster: an example of what she famously called the “banality of evil.” Norman Podhoretz responded with a decisive critique of her thesis, which appeared in Commentary under the title “Hannah Arendt on Eichmann: A Study in the Perversity of Brilliance.” In the essay, Podhoretz also took Arendt to task for her attack on Jewish communal leaders for what she describes as their complicity in the Holocaust, and for her contempt for Zionism. Ruth Wisse discusses the essay, its legacy, and its implications for today in conversation with Eric Cohen. (Audio, 43 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

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Read more at Tikvah

More about: Adolf Eichmann, Anti-Semitism, Hannah Arendt, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Norman Podhoretz

Political Paralysis Could Leave Israel at the Mercy of Economic Crisis

July 15 2020

With unemployment skyrocketing and the government contemplating renewed lockdowns in the face of a second wave of the coronavirus, Israeli Treasury officials have been working to craft a fiscal plan to pave the way to economic recovery. But the budget has been stalled by the rivalry between the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his primary coalition partner Benny Gantz, who is scheduled to replace him in November 2021. Haviv Rettig Gur explains the impasse, and why it matters:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Coronavirus, Israeli economy, Israeli politics